Legislations which influence a healthy, safe and secure environment for early years settings:
Children Act 2004
Early years foundation stage 2008
United nations convention of the rights of the child 1992
Childcare Act 2006
Health and safety first aid 1981
Data protection Act 1998
reporting of injuries diseases and dangerous occurrences regulations 1995
Inside early years settings there are many strategies and police which help to keep children safe, secure and healthy. Having policies and procedures such as the data protection act 1998 which is important as it states that all documents must be recorded and stored in the correct professional way and is only read on a need to know basis by a fully trained practitioner, who should fully understand the confidentiality policy and the rule and regulations that come with it. All practitioners must learn and understand the meaning of safeguarding and be able to act on that, staff need to understand which members of staff to go to if they have any questions or worries about a child.
The health and safety policy 1974 states that there aims are to provide a safe and healthy environment for children, practitioners and visitors that are welcomed onto the premises. This policy aims to ensure that all members of the settings community understand their own responsibilities in keeping and maintaining a healthy and safe environment. In a childcare setting the health and safety act states that “buildings should be in good condition and designed with the safety of users in mind, buildings and surroundings should be clean and safe and equipment must be safely used and stored”, as practitioners everyone in the childcare setting must know and understand what their health and safety policy consists of within the setting. Making sure all new practitioners and children experience a fire drill, also knowing the entry and exit procedures within the setting ensuring all practitioners and students know what to do in an emergency. Employees have to be careful that there are no risks of injury to anyone within the setting by perform a risk assessment.
The environment and procedures necessary to keep child safe
Accident, emergencies and illness often occur in a childcare setting. Practitioners must be able to recognise signs of illness and know how to deal with accidents and emergencies.
In this section I shall discuss several different situations which practitioners may need to deal with. Starting with a bump to the head, this is quite a well known accident within a childcare setting as children do have a right to their own play where they may fall, slip or trip. If a child has a bump to the head the practitioner must sit the child down, looking out for the signs and symptoms which are Scalp swelling, loss of consciousness, headaches and vomiting. If there is bleeding apply a clean cloth or bandage to the area and apply pressure, if just minor scrap rinse the area. monitor the child, don’t make the child feel worried about the situation try and keep the child calm. Practitioners should be looking out for any changes in behaviour or any loss of consciousness, as not all injuries show up on the outside of the head. All accidents, emergencies and illnesses must be recorded in the incident book and reported to parents and other practitioners and a safety rule.
If a child within the setting is suffering from an asthma attack practitioners must sit the child down in a quiet area and encourage them to take two big puffs of their proscribed reliever inhaler which should be stored in a locked cupboard, immediately practitioners must observe the child looking out for symptoms such as very rapid breathing, serve wheezing when breathing in and out, chest pain or pressure, pale and sweaty face, and get them to do slow steady breathes, if the child still is